Date

22 April 2021

Audience

Environment and community interest groups

Engagement

19 stakeholders

OBJECTIVES

To share our biodiversity commitments for 2021 to 2026, understand stakeholders’ biodiversity interests and priorities  and to explore ways we could manage our landholdings and worksites  to encourage biodiversity.

 

Your comments & our responses

Priorities

You told us that you prioritised all aspects of biodiversity equally and we should invest to encourage biodiversity on our work sites, irrespective of who owns the land we are working on.

Taking this on board we will our approach will be to develop to a programme of improvements and activities across a broad range of biodiverse areas – flora, insects, birds, pollinators and animals – to deliver improvements rather than focusing on, or prioritising one or two  specific biodiverse aspects.

Encouraging biodiversity

During discussions around actions we could take on our landholdings and work sites, you recognised the constraints we have in ensuring the safety and security of our sites. Despite this you said there were a number of things we could do, such as installing ponds, covering tall flat-roofed buildings with coarse gravel to provide nesting habitat, fitting suitable buildings with nesting bricks and changing how we manage vegetation on site.

Whilst our sites do face operational, safety and security constraints, it’s clear there are a number of techniques and methods we can apply to encourage biodiversity and the industrial landscape of our sites doesn’t have to be a barrier. We will now work with our landscape management team to explore what we can do. This will include considering aspects such as rockeries, installing hedges along site boundaries instead of fencing and how we can manage our grassed areas differently – such as mowing less often and not cutting the grass as short.

Partnerships

While it was clear that while there were a number of practical actions we could take, you said we should also consider  how we can work with adjacent landowners and communities on vegetated NGN owned land outside our fence lines,  and other local groups, such as local beekeeping groups to maximise positive biodiversity impacts.

We recognise the strength of partnership working and that it often means we can deliver better  and more impact results for the communities we work in.  We will now work with our landscape management team to identify sites where this could be possible and look at where we can identify potential new partnerships to implement new ways of working

Benefits

You said small integrated improvements across several sites can deliver large cumulative benefits many of which can be introduced at minimal cost.

In response we have met with our landscape management team to discuss our maintenance regime and are identifying a number of areas where we can make positive change, including altering our mowing regimes.

 

Engagement

Sharing information and knowledge with employees can increase the benefits delivered and we should be talking to our workforce and encouraging them to make positive changes in their own homes and communities.

Considering this feedback, we promoted the ‘No Mow May’ initiative and encouraged colleagues to get involved at home. We will also work with our internal environmental colleague group ‘The Green Team’ to explore effective ways we can promote and champion positive bio diverse behaviors with colleagues.

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